Review: The Golden Dream of Carlo Chuchio

The Golden Dream of Carlo ChuchioThe Golden Dream of Carlo Chuchio by Lloyd Alexander
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

The Golden Dream of Carlo Chuchio is told from the view of Carlo, a gullible, daydreaming youth who lives with his intolerant uncle in the port city of Magenta. Carlo’s fortunes change when he finds a map inside a book he obtains from the market and sets out on a misadventure to find treasure.

The characters of the book are rather one-dimensional in that they each have their specific role to play in the story, and they don’t step outside of that. I’m not usually a fan of this, but the author makes it work for this book. Carlo is the foolish and exploitable leader; Baksheesh, the lazy, honey-tongued servant; Shira, the brave love interest; and Salamon, the ever-hopeful advisor.

The story plays very like a Don Quixote tale, with lots of stupid and regrettable decisions from our hero, moving us from one mishap to another, and the humor that ensues. The frequent use of various foreign titles tried to keep me on my toes, but ended up only tripping me up, so that I had to constantly refer to earlier parts of the book to remember what they meant.

If you enjoy sarcastic and witty banter between characters, Three-Stooges type brouhaha, and random adventure written in a middle-grade version of Don Quixote style, then The Golden Dream of Carlo Chuchio will be right up your alley.

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